Images in geriatric cardiology. Usefulness of live three-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography in aortic valve stenosis evaluation

Srinivas Vengala, Navin C Nanda, Harvinder S Dod, Vikramjit Singh, Gopal Agrawal, Ashish Sinha, Deepak Khanna, Sailendra K Upendram, Anand Chockalingam, David C McGiffin, James K Kirklin, Albert D Pacifico
American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology 2004, 13 (5): 279-84
Aortic valve stenosis (AS) severity can be estimated by various modalities. Due to some of the limitations of the currently available methods, the usefulness of live three-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (3D TTE) in the assessment of AS was explored. Live 3D TTE was able to visualize the aortic valve orifice in all 11 patients studied. Live 3D TTE correctly estimated the severity of AS in all 10 patients in whom AS severity could be evaluated at surgery. These included eight patients with severe AS and two with moderate AS. Two of these 10 patients with AS had associated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and underwent myectomy at the time of aortic valve replacement. Aortic valve orifice area measurements by live 3D TTE correlated well with intraoperative three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiographic reconstruction measurements (r=0.85) but not as well with two-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography measurements (r=0.64). Live 3D TTE measurements of the aortic valve orifice area also did not correlate well with two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography measurements (r=0.46) but the number of patients studied with two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography was smaller (only seven) and four of these did not undergo two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography at the authors' institution. Altogether, four patients with severe AS by live 3D TTE, and subsequently confirmed at surgery, were misdiagnosed as having moderate AS by two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography. Because it is completely noninvasive and views the aortic valve in three dimensions, 3D TTE could be a useful complement to the existing modalities in the evaluation of AS severity.

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